Saturday, March 6, 2010

almost 1/2 way Day 3

Day 3 in Team DK world:

Local OMANI Time (4 hours ahead of GMT): 11:35
Local Date: Friday, March 5
SOG (Speed Over Ground): 6.0K
Wind: NE 6K
Distance to Aden, Yemen: 383 miles

Deep thoughts from Gar, "You know, this convoy thing is really pretty smart."

Especially around 07:00 when 4 small fishing boats came over the horizon. And then later, when 9 larger fishing boats came
cruising through our fleet so close we could wave at the fisherman and see the expressions on their faces. It was a bit spooky. We decided with the first entry of fishing boats we would practice our defense tactics. So we went through the exercise, practice for pirates, tightening ranks and closing in on Alpha. We learned a lot of things. Many of them old. The most obvious and well known is that the slowest boat should not be in the back. Saroni is the slowest boat, except for the lead boat. To get into tactical position, we have to wait for our convoy to catch and tighten up. It took us 11 minutes to tighten up and head toward Alpha group. Way too long.

What to do? The only real solution is to move Saraoni up in front. The problem is the way the groups were organized- in order of when the boat signed up. We signed up last so we are the back of the pack. Playfully referred to as "pirate bait". No one wanted to switch to come back with Delta except someone willing in Charlie but it didn't really solve the problem so now Saraoni is up with Alpha and we have one less boat to manage. We are now traveling in a diamond formation.

There is never a dull moment in this convoy. Alpha 1 called for an engine check stop for 10 minutes. All boats stopped in
formation except one. A Delta rogue, Delta 3. They are now positioned directly behind our stern and with a tighter formation (recommendation from what we learned with our earlier exercise). You guessed it, they just missed slamming into us at 6 knots. Our angels have been busy. Thank You! Please keep the positive thoughts flying our way. We can use all we get.

Few, we are exhausted. Managing this group is a constant job. It is almost ridiculous. Seriously, I go to the bathroom with the hand held VHF. On watch, I do nothing other than watch the boats around me, manage our track, and look for ships and boats on the radar and the horizon.

Smart? Smart. We wouldn't really want to do it any other way. It is the best offense we can have other than a warship. Hopefully it will be worth it. We both have back aches, more grey hairs and bags under our eyes. I am wearing patches on my shoulders to relieve the tension and Gar should put one on his lower back but he doesn't want a wax.

The sky is a cloudy shade of blue and the sun is bursting through. It is hot but good to see some brightness in our days. Birds feed on the surface and sargasso sea weed floats by.

"This is Delta 1, over and out for now."

Admiral "Patches" and Captain Chuck (Norris, that is)

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